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Fascinating Facts

About Stranraer, Portpatrick, Cairnryan and surrounding areas Dumfries and Galloway - you'll be surprised ...

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Scotland's most southerly point is The Mull of Galloway, further south than Hartlepool. On a clear day, Ireland, The Isle of Man and Cumbria are visible!

The coastline of Dumfries and Galloway stretches for over 200 miles.


Galloway was in a sense the first province of Scotland since it was here that the tribes from Ireland known as the Scotiae or Scots first settled in present day Scotland. However, at other times during the Wars of Independence in the C13th and C14th much of the region became a temporary part of England.

Bonnie Dundee, the hero of Killiecrankie, was John Graham of Claverhouse known to the South West as "Bloody Clavers" for his ruthless suppression of the Covenanters. He operated from Stranraer Castle.

Scotland's first Christian Church - Candida Casa, Whithorn - was founded around 400 AD. St. Ninian was the first bishop.

Whithorn Priory exhibition   Whithorn Priory exhibition

Whithorn Priory saw visits from thousands of pilgrims in the mediaeval period, including several monarchs, most notably James IV

Two famous Covenanting martyrs drowned at the stake in May 1685 are remembered at Wigtown Bay, Margaret McLachlan aged 63 and Margaret Wilson aged 18, were cruelly punished for their religious beliefs despite a reprieve, which mysteriously never reached them in time. Margaret Wilson died praying, refusing the pleas from the crowd to renounce her Covenanting principles.

The present General of the Cistercian Order of Monks, which built Sweetheart, Dundrennan and Glenluce Abbeys in the Middle Ages, Dom Ambrose Southey, was educated in Dumfries at St. Joseph's College and now works from Rome.


Stranraer FC was the last senior football club in Britain to have floodlights installed!

World's most highly valued ram sold at Newton Stewart.

The earliest Christian monument in Scotland is the Latinus stone (mid C5th) at Whithorn.

The region's temperatures soared on 2 July 1908 to record levels! The highest recorded air temperature in Scotland was 91 degrees Fahrenheit!


Galloway cattle are the biggest exporting breed in Great Britain and you can find them from Alaska to Australia!

Unusual and interesting wildlife which may be seen by the visitor to Dumfries and Galloway are the wild goats of Talnotry, on the Queen's Way; red deer, otters, peregrines, oyster catchers and golden plovers.

Wigtown Bay is one of only three spawning locations for the Sparling (Osmerus eperianus).


The western area of Dumfries and Galloway boasts some unique attractions:

Creetown Gem Rock Museum is one of the most popular of the South West's attractions with exhibits from all over the world.

Logan Botanic Garden with exotic plants and palm trees.

the belted galloway    The famous Belted Galloway cattle, fondly known as 'Belties' due to a white band around the middle.

The Southern Upland Way, Britain's only West to East coast to coast long distance footpath stretching 212 miles from Portpatrick to Berwickshire.

The Whithorn Dig - excavations uncovering the early years of Whithorn and many remnants of past life.


Portpatrick was named after St. Patrick who crossed from Ireland in one single step but was attacked by savages who chopped off his head. He picked up his head and swam back to Ireland!

Churchill and Eisenhower and their chiefs of staff had secret talks during the war at Knockinaam Lodge, Portpatrick.

Thanks to Dumfries and Galloway Tourist Board

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